he Artist in his studio




The London Royal Academy of Art selected my work in four of its summer shows. I've also exhibited with the RP, ROI, RBA, NEAC and RWA. 


In 2009 the Company of Painter Stainers presented my work, 'Natural Philosophy,' with two awards - the first to get a double prize in the award's history.


In 2013, the RBA gave its Arts Trust Award for my painting titled 'Insight.


What sort of Art do I like? Impressionism, Post Impressionism and Surrealism all made important contributions.


However, the paintings that interest me the most were made during the Italian and Flemish Renaissance, often called the 'Northern Renaissance.'


In those days artists were apprenticed in their early teens. Raphael, for instance, was taught by his father, Giovani Santi, who passed away when Raphael was 11.


However, Rapahel took over his father's workshop and went on to prove himself the equal of his contemporaries; Leonardo and Bounarroti.


What's special about their work? Artists of their period painted with increasing  faithfulness to the way that natural forms appear to the eye, not an easy task.


Caravaggio, Van Eyck, Memling, Leonardo, and Giorgione are some of my favourites.

The incredible naturalism that these painters achieved was not an end in itself, but a means of bringing their narrative work 'to life.' 


Surpassing mere re-presentation of visual forms, theses artists imbue their paintings with a palpable sense of meaning and conviction. 


Whether the work was a religious or a secular one, there's a genuine gravity about them.


Caravaggio's painting called, 'Supper at Emmaus,' at the National Gallery in London is a good example. No one alive today can paint quite like him. 

If you've read this far then you may like to know where I began. I taught myself through practice. 


I always liked to draw and when I was 14 I began to draw seriously. 


After a couple of years I could draw well and decided to try oil painting. I wanted to paint well, but I didn't know how to.


Around this time I visited Cardiff Museum and saw a 17th Century Dutch interior. Its realism and competence impressed me.


I wondered about who created it, three centuries ago, and why I rarely saw artists today using similar skills.  

After leaving school I visited universities, looking to find an answer from those with formal credentials. 

I met some nice people, but they didn't know the answers to my questions about draftsmanship, technique and composition.

I talked with students and saw their work. Although many of them wished to learn technique, they informed me that it wasn't taught. Theory reigned supreme. 

As a result they could theorise about art but lacked the skills to fully realise their aesthetic intentions, which was a disappointment to them. 

I thought that this must be an oversight, however, as I visited other universities I discovered the same situation. 


To paint like the Old Masters was more important to me. So I decided that university wasn't the best use of my time and set out instead to teach myself.

Working day jobs while trying to rediscover the methods of the Old Masters in my spare time was a challenge.

However, my beloved partner, Leyna, understood as I painted through the nights, weekends and early hours of morning in an effort to 'paint well.'








    'Synthetic Portent' at the Royal Academy of Art's London 2008 summer exhibition.

I learned slowly through trial, error and a lot of time and I felt that I may have reached my objective in 2007.


I applied with the above painting to the Royal Academy in London to see if they would like to exhibit it.


They did. It went on display in their 2008 Summer Exhibition and sold for £7,000, which after the Academy's commission would help me to finance my next project.


Later that year an Academician invited me to make a work measuring four by five feet for 2009, featuring a similar subject, 'magic.' This was a one off.

After five and a half months, of working 70 hour weeks, I finished the painting (detail below), which is now in the private collection of a prominent collector.




















Second Sight (detail) Exhibited at the Royal Academy's summer exhibition 2009


The Academy made postcard reproductions of the work in 2009 and highlighted the piece to visitors with a written notice, stating that Second Sight was a 'meditation on impermanence.'


Following this I exhibited at Mall Galleries, received some prizes and exhibited regularly at commercial galleries. 

Twenty two years have passed since I began my artistic practice, and I've exhibited for twelve of those. It's been an interesting time.

I hope you enjoy viewing my work.

First paintng accepted by theroyal academy summer exhibition
seond sight royal academy of art london
  • Twitter Social Icon

© Michael de Bono. All rights reserved 

This site was designed with the
website builder. Create your website today.
Start Now